We’ve twinned classic books from acclaimed adventure publisher Bâton Wicks with top SteepEdge films. Watch the expedition footage, read poetry inspired by the first ascent and get the secret beta. Here are five definitive climbing titles and their on-screen companions.
The events that took place on K2 in 1986 have gone down in the annals of mountaineering history. Jim Curran's K2 Triumph and Tragedy was created from footage recorded as he attempted follow a British expedition to the North-west Ridge. A severely frost-bitten Kurt Diemberger survived, and he tells his story in The Endless Knot, part of his candid autobiography.
Edwin Drummond was the first ascentionist of St John's Head, a remote 1,150 foot sea cliff. In his collection of essays and poems A Dream of White Horses, the climb becomes the haunted vision of an anthropomorphic gull, who surveys 'Ed' and his companions' battle from the vantage point of a claustrophobic, guano-slimed stance. In The Long Hope Drummond, now in his late sixties, revisits St John's Head to encourage a free ascent by Dave Macleod.
Heckmair's 1938 ascent of the North Face of the Eiger was considered one of the finest moments of alpinisim and was duly appropriated by the Nazis, much to his discomfort. The young filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl also attracted the attention of the Fuher after the success of her fashionable 'Bergefilm', 'Das Blaue Licht'. She starred as the beautiful 'Junta', whose mysterious talent for climbing neatly fulfilled the Teutonic ideal of the courageous, action-oriented woman. Despite their opposing politics, Reifenstahl hired Heickmair as a guide and the ensuing relationship between the two climbers is revealed in Heckmair's autobiography, and Ray Muller's biopic.
Everest the Hard Way, the classic expedition documentary of the 1975 British Expedition up the South-west Face of the world's highest mountain, describes the historic summit bid made by Doug Scott and Dougal Haston. Their ascent sparked a revolution, as climbers began to adopt a rapid 'Alpine' style of ascent. In his typically understated style, Scott relates his memories of this and other expeditions throughout his career in the beautifully illustrated Himalayan Climber.
Finding the best boulder problems in the mystical forest of Fontainbleau can be a complex business. In Out of Sight, Neil Hart follows a group of the world's best climbers as they explore rarely stumbled-upon parts of the forest. The maps and boulder layouts in the guidebook Fontainbleau Bouldering Off-Piste, together with the crucial local knowledge of Jack Godoffe, who features in Hart's film, are an indispensable aid to unveiling the forest's secret treasures.
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